In this age where privacy is a major concern for us, it sure is easy to steal anyone’s personal information.
Any decent hacker with access to a public wifi could hack into your phone and steal your credentials, personal photos and other things which he or she could use to blackmail you. Or they could take control of your bank account info to transfer cash out of your account.
Given these nightmare scenarios, its important to beware of the common ways how hackers can potentially gain control over your phone.
Here are three ways they can do just that:
Via Public Wifi
Connecting to wifi on a public source, like an airport, a cafe etc. is always risky. Once in, the hacker can view everything you do on your phone as long as you’re connected to the public wifi.
When connecting to a public or open wifi, your smartphone often displays a warning asking you if you’re sure about connecting to an open wifi network or may warn you that it may be insecure. Most people just ignore the warning and connect to the network.
Adi Sharabani, co founder of the mobile security company Skycure, said.
92 percent of people click continue on this screen, Your phone actually has a lot of really good built-in technology to warn you when you are going to make a poor security decision.
And what we found through our general penetration testing practice and talking to some of our customers is people are very conditioned to just click through whatever warnings it is because they want the content
Avoid connecting to public or open wifi networks, and make sure who you’re sharing sensitive information with.
Via Operating System Flaws
There are security vulnerabilities in Android as well as iOS. The developers try to patch those security holes as soon as possible, but despite their best attempts there are always new security threats being discovered.
Sharabani added that on average one vulnerability is publicly disclosed every day, and at least 10 percent of those vulnerabilities are critical vulnerabilities, which could compromise your smartphone and allow someone to remotely gain access to it.
The manufacturers periodically release updates for their respective operating systems, with many of these containing security updates as well which fix the security flaws present in them.
Despite this, people do not update as soon as possible due to concerns over device performance degrading or battery life issues. Once the updates are out, hackers specifically target these non-updated devices.
Via Malicious Apps
Apps installed from non-official sources have a higher chance of containing spyware or malware that may send information from your phone to a remote server controlled by a hacker.
The two major app stores the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store have several million apps which cannot be individually checked for security. This means that the more apps you have, the higher the risk for having a potentially harmful application installed.
Sharabani says to check the warning messages when installing apps. If an app needs access to your contact list despite being unrelated to messaging, advertising or similar category of apps, there’s a high degree of possibility that you got a rogue app.
We can never be 100% safe from security risk problems in our smartphones but we can at least decrease the risk. Adopting some common sense tips and practices can make your digital life virtually stress-free.
As they say, prevention is always better than the cure.